McElveen Hyundai Complaint - Physical Intimidation?!
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- In March I did some shopping around for a car in the less-than-10k range. I wanted something larger than a two-door Mustang for my growing family.
After checking Websites and lots and cross referencing values with Carfax I finally chose a Kia Sportage. It had some minor issues that I was willing to accept that I noticed in the lot (small rust stains near top, missing visor, some small stains). I negotiated the price down by $3000 and was good to go. They filled half the tank for me and I drove off happy (although wondering why they hadn't "filled her up" like I would have expected...it wasn't really an issue to me at the time).
Our plan was to take the new vehicle on a road trip the next day. We went to gas the tank to full and after about five seconds of filling it spewed gas out at me. Huh. Tried another pump at the same gas station...same thing. Drove to a different gas station...same thing. Now I'm fuming because there is obviously something wrong with the car. Fortunately one of the deciding factors of buying from McElveen was their extended warranty on used cars...a big plus to me. So I go back to the dealership and the salesman has me take it to their on-site mechanic who says that the fuel filter and some associated parts all needed replacing. What?! Shouldn't I have been told of this?!
I tell the salesman I didn't want a broken car and was never informed of this. I stated I want either my money back or it fixed for free under my warranty. He told me to go try to gas it up while he talked to the manager.
I go try to gas it up again and same issue. I call him and tell him we're on our way back and he informs me his manager says there is nothing they will do to help. Now I am ANGRY. What kind of rip off is this from a major local dealership? I drive back down to the dealership and inform them that in South Carolina we have a buyer's remorse law and a lemon law and I was sure one of those would help me out.
This is where it gets insane.
I go back to the dealership and while I'm not shouting I'm loudly asking "Who where is going to give me my refund?". A guy comes out of the back area and asks me and my girlfriend to follow him into an office. We go into his office, and I kid you not he has us sit down then stands over us screaming. "IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER I'LL CALL MINE RIGHT NOW!" and "IF YOU THINK YOU CAN GO TO THE NEWS AGENCIES YOU DON'T REALIZE HOW LITTLE WE SPEND IN ADVERTISING." which seemed to imply he thought they had such a good reputation it didn't matter if they ripped off a person here or there. Then he started SLAMMING his fist on the desk in front of us while he was screaming at us. I quietly asked "did you just slam your first at us?" because I knew everything that happened in this office was being recorded (it was the financial office and a sign saying anyone entering would be recorded had been on the door). At that point he calmed back down and said "I haven't even told you what I'm going to do to help you." By that time my girlfriend was in tears from the intimidation. I don't know if anyone here has had a stranger but your loved one in tears but its an awful feeling.
He did end up having their on-site mechanic repair the damage for free when we returned from our trip. Since the issue only made fueling a 15 minute process and not cause any damage (according to them at least) I was ok with this. At least now I know why I only got half a tank of gas though...someone at the dealership had tried to "fill it up" and then realized it was taking far too long and had to bring it back to the dealership since we were waiting.
From now on, any rude and aggressive idiots we run into are called "Garys" after their manager. I'm glad that after me calling him on his intimidation tactics he relented...but I wonder how many other people have had to go through the same thing?